Kingfish are one of the Adreno Big 5, however surprisingly few people know that you can make great dishes with kingfish. Especially yellowtail kingfish, the premium member of this group, has a medium to strong, distinct and pleasant flavour.
The kingfish has not many bones in it, which makes it easy to handle. The meat is quite dry and the texture is firm, which is great for grilling (marinate it first in garlic and lemon!), barbecuing (wrap it in foil to retain the moisture and add a little butter, or make skewers with fish and vegetables) and deep frying in batter.
You can even slice it for sashimi or use it as a base for delicious Thai dishes with lemon grass, ginger, chilli, and soy sauce.
In New Zealand eating this beautiful fish is more popular than in Australia, because kingfish is more moist, flavoursome, and tender due to colder waters, but even taken from warmer waters the fish can be a real treat. Also remember: the smaller the fish, the more delicious it is! So if you catch one and it doesn’t compete in the Adreno BIG 5 spearfishing competition, at least cook it up!
We tried a great kingfish recipe that was given to us by a fellow spearo. It’s relatively easy to make, and it you can call it whatever you prefer: a patty, a fish cake, rissole or a fish burger.
The hard bit is catching the fish, but then just follow these 10 easy steps:
1. Bone an scale the fish and get 1 kg of thick kingfish meat cut in pieces (you can also use jewfish, silver trevally, mackerel, tuna, or snapper, to name a few).
2. Boil 500gr. of potatoes, mash it with a bit of milk, and allow it to cool.
3. Place the fish in a saucepan and add enough water to cover the meat.
4. Cut 1 stalk of celery, grate 1 carrot, chop 1 onion and ¼ of red capsium, and grate the rind of 1 lemon. Add all this to the fish pot together with 2 bay leaves.
5. Add a little red chilli (powder or fresh), some chives or sliced spring onion, and salt and pepper to taste.
6. Bring to boil gently and boil uncovered 10 minutes.
7. Add mashed potatoes and mix through.
8. Form the fish/potato/veggie/herb mix into flat rissoles with your hand and roll them in plain flour on a saucer, then dip it in egg and ½ cup of milk on another saucer, and then in bread crumbs on a third saucer.
9. Fry in hot olive oil until brown (about 10 minutes).
10. Serve with a nice summer salad and a nice light wine (we tried an unwooded chardonnay!)
Enjoy your meal and let us know how you like it and if you have tried other good recipes with kingfish!